Visit Orlando Blog
Welcome to the Visit Orlando Blog! We provide the latest information to help you plan your dream Orlando vacation. From ideas on things to do and insider tips to special events and seasonal deals, the Visit Orlando Blog explores all that Orlando has to offer. Browse categories like theme parks, places to stay, shopping and restaurants for ideas to help build your trip itinerary.
The Decepticons are preparing for an all-out war and Orlando is their destination. Universal Orlando's highly anticipated blockbuster attraction TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is opening June 20 and fans are already preparing for what is to come of the action packed ride.
The mind-blowing, 3D experience pushes the limits of technology to place guests in the middle of an intergalactic war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The adventure begins as guests enter NEST headquarters and are recruited to help the Autobots protect the AllSpark, a powerful energy source that would allow the Decepticons to destroy the planet.
To get ready to defend our planet and prepare for battle alongside Optimus Prime, check out universalorlando.com.
The battle starts a week from today! Are you ready?
Visitors from around the world come to Orlando for all this sunny and tropical destination has to offer and everyone can expect a little extra when they're in town for Independence Day on July 4th. Every year, the Orlando skies are ignited with spectacular fireworks and family friendly activities such as live music and light shows and visitors are invited to join the celebration.
Celebrate Fourth of July at Orlando's Theme Parks
Independence Day at SeaWorld Orlando - July 4
As part of SeaWorld Orlando's Summer Nights, a special Fourth of July Reflections show will feature an expanded fireworks show timed to patriotic music.
Guests can enjoy a special version of the popular Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular, a cinematic adventure that combines cutting-edge projection technology with lasers and pyrotechnics to bring movies to life like never before.
"Disney's Celebrate America! - A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky" at Magic Kingdom will start at 9 p.m. The holiday-inspired "IllumiNations: Reflections of the Earth" at Epcot will start at 10 p.m., and a special July 4th fireworks presentation at Disney's Hollywood Studios will start at 10 p.m.
Independence Week at Magic Kingdom - June 30 - July 6
It's red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party - for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.
Red, Brick and Boom at LEGOLAND - July 4 - 7
A dazzling way to celebrate the 4th of July, LEGOLAND Florida presents their first Independence Day event. 3D glasses make ordinary fireworks turn into millions of fantastic exploding bricks.
From Downtown Orlando to iconic celebration, Orlando also offers free activities to celebrate the "Red, White and Blue."
On July 1, the 4th Annual Independence Day Bash at Baldwin Park will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST featuring food, fun, music and a fireworks show.
On July 3 XL 106.7 Radio will host its annual Red Hot & Boom celebration at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte.
In Downtown Orlando, around the iconic Lake Eola, Fireworks at the Fountain will offer a fireworks display and laser show around the lake from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on July 4.
Celebration Town Center is also adding a fun twist to the holiday, as they join forces with MegaCon to celebrate A Sci-Fi 4th of July on July 4 beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate your old man this year with local Father's Day specials that he will truly enjoy.
For a taste of luxury Rosen Shingle Creek is offering dads a two night stay between June 14 and 16 for just $159 plus tax, with 25 percent off greens fees at the Shingle Creek Golf Club and spa treatments at The Spa at Shingle Creek. Guests interested in booking the "Who's Your Daddy-O" Father's Day package can call 866-996-6338 or visit rosenshinglecreek.com.
Take your dad on an Emeril-style retreat this Father's Day at Emeril's Tchoup Chop. Offering its regular dinner menu as well as an exclusive Father's Day menu featuring lemongrass poached jumbo shrimp, a Thai beef salad, grilled ribeye finished with a decadent German chocolate cake. For reservations call 407-503-2467.
Ocean Prime is offering a menu selection fit for a king. Savor executive chef Jeremy Mattson's prime beef and seafood offerings paired with the restaurant's wine selections and award-winning cocktails. This Father's Day, give him the gift of gourmet. To make a reservation, call 407-781-4880 or visit oceanprimeorlando.com.
CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort-Orlando is also offering a great value for a summer vacation with Dad. Rates for reservations made now through June 20 for an overnight stay start from 1-2 nights at $99 per night and include two welcome drinks and a poolside upgraded room. Stays of three or more nights start at $89 per night and include two welcome drinks and 15 percent off food and beverage on-site and a poolside upgraded room. The offer must be booked at cocokeyorlando.com using promo code: DADS.
For your car enthusiast dad, Exotic Driving Experience will give him the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the supercars of his dreams with a special 25% off discount.
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament are giving dads the royal treatment for free this Father's Day when accompanied by one full-priced adult admission. For more information on this special offer, click here. The Orange County Regional History Center will open its doors to welcome any fathers free of charge during regular museum hours. The Enzian is also showing a special screening of "Major League" on Father's Day. To purchase tickets visit
At Hilton Orlando, Dad's gets a free beer with Father's Day $18 3-Course Meal purchase at The Bistro.
With all the wonderful Father's Day options this year, pops is sure to have a blast on his special day! Click here to check out all the Orlando events happening on Father's Day.
Eat (and drink) around the globe at Epcot's World Showcase
Just because you're honeymooning in Orlando doesn't mean you can't have an international experience. You'll feel like a world traveler after a few laps around Epcot's World Showcase where eleven pavilions representing everywhere from Italy to Japan will take you on a cultural and epicurean escapade. Sample crepes in France, cheese empanadas in Mexico, then wash down a bratwurst sausage with a stein of beer at an authentic ‘biergarten' in Germany.
Discovery Cove Romance Package
Thanks to an all-inclusive and interactive experience minus the crowds, a day at Discovery Cove is always romantic, but you can up the love factor by booking a private cabana for an extra fee. Complete with table and chairs, chaise lounges, and towels, the cabanas provide an intimate place to hang out when you're not snorkeling, dining, and coming face to face with dolphins.
Town of Celebration
Pleasantville literally came to life in 1996 with the creation of the Town of Celebration, an ideal locale for a little shopping, drinks, lakeside strolls, dinner, and maybe a movie, if you can squeeze it all in. Wandering through this quaint little slice of Americana is fine by foot, but a better option is by horse-drawn carriage, available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 6pm - 10pm.
Ritz -Carlton Spa
Located on the property of the palatial Grande Lakes Orlando, the 40,000 square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa is Orlando's grandest spa and a favorite amongst couples seeking a daylong spa getaway. In between dips in the 4,000-square foot adults-only pool and naps in the co-ed relaxation room, couple can indulge in a long list of treatments, including couples massages.
Victoria and Albert's
If you're looking for an ultra-swanky way to toast your nuptials, look no further than Victoria and Albert's, arguably Orlando's most lavish (and expensive) dining experience. You'll need to dress for the occasion (men need a dinner jacket) but it's fitting since this upscale eatery is known for a white-gloved service that makes guests feel like royalty. Be forewarned; reservations typically need to be made months in advance.
Winter Park Day Trip
With its brick-lined boulevard housing more than 140 luxury boutiques and posh eateries, Winter Park's Park Avenue has well deserved its nickname as the Rodeo Drive of Florida. This quaint, upscale neighborhood north of downtown Orlando is the ideal locale for gourmet cheese shops, spice boutiques, croissant cafes, wine bars, and some of the Orlando area's most celebrated restaurants. Be sure to check out the Scenic Boat Tour, a one-hour, 12-mile float via pontoon boat through Winter Park's pristine lakes and canals.
Definitely catch the fireworks display at all the theme parks, but for an unforgettable vantage point, hop on board Mauiva Air Tours' fireworks flight, a 30-minute trip over the theme parks' fireworks displays followed by a candlelit wine and cheese rendezvous for two on the tarmac.
This special post was written by Kristen Manieri. To read more about the romantic side of Orlando and other tips from Kristen, visit GreatDatesOrlando.com.
Even on a rainy day Orlando makes guests smile! Here's a quick list of indoor activities in Orlando:
IMAX Theater at Pointe Orlando
Tell us in the comments below, what's your favorite indoor attraction in Orlando? And, to check out more things to do in Orlando, click here.
Much excitement is already surrounding the new Fantasyland attraction, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Set to open in 2014, this family coaster will take guests on an adventure through the mine where the Seven Dwarfs spend their days digging for gems. The attraction will feature classic music and characters from the Disney fairytale film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The ride will offer a thrilling journey on an innovative ride system with a train of mine carts that twists and turns at every bend. Walt Disney Imagineering have officially laid the last pieces of the coaster and are on track to a spectacular creation for all ages.
Walt Disney Imagineers give you a behind the scenes look of the exciting new attraction. Take a look!
As summer approaches, Orlando's music scene is getting sizzling hot with many chart-topping artists and performers coming to town. From New Kids on the Block to Bruno Mars, there is something for everyone to be excited about!
Lights Out Tour Starring Kelly Rowland and The Dream - June 6 at the House of Blues
Say Anything - June 12 at the House of Blues
The Package Tour: New Kids On The Block with 98 Degrees & Boys II Men - June 21 at the Amway Center
Juanes - June 28 at Hard Rock Live
Emeli Sandé - July 2 at the House of Blues
Meek Mill Dreams Come True Tour - July 4 at The Beacham
Corey Smith- July 5 at the House of Blues
Mac Miller - July 6 at Hard Rock Live
Carlos Vives Come Le Gusta a mi Pueblo Tour - July 12 at the Amway Center
Hank Williams Jr. and Gregg Allman - July 13 at the UCF Arena
Michael Ray Presented by K92.3 - July 13 at the House of Blues
Marilyn Manson - July 16 at Hard Rock Live
American Idol Live! 2013 - Aug. 1 at the Amway Center
Adam Ant - Aug. 10 at Hard Rock Live
OneRepublic - Aug. 12 at Hard Rock Live
KISS - Aug. 16 at the Amway Center
The Killers - Aug. 16 at Hard Rock Live
Icona Pop - Aug. 16 at the House of Blues
Ted Nugent - Aug. 19 at the House of Blues
Andres Cepeda - Aug. 22 at the House of Blues
Bruno Mars: The Moonshine Jungle World Tour with special guest Fitz and the Tantrums - Aug. 27 at the Amway Center
We The Kings - Aug. 30 at the House of Blues
Grande Lakes Orlando, Orlando's first luxury resort, celebrates 10 years of standard setting and service excellence expected by the city's ever-changing travelers.
Grande Lakes Orlando, comprised by the JW Marriott, The Ritz Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Spa and an 18-hole Greg Norman championship golf course, opened in July 2003 and continues to offer guests amenities such as a 40,000-square-foot spa, kayak and canoe eco-tours, a fly-fishing school and some of Orlando's best dining experiences at PRIMO and NORMAN'S.
Guests of both hotels can also expect a multitude of celebratory offerings throughout the year, from special restaurant menus featuring creative, ten-year-inspired dishes to unique additions on the spa menu and other signature anniversary amenities. To make your reservations, visit grandelakes.com.
Orlando is the perfect place to spend your summer vacation visiting the largest expansions in theme park history. Here's the exciting list of the new additions that await you in Central Florida this summer:
- Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the coldest theme park attraction in the world, opens at SeaWorld Orlando on May 24.
- Monstrous Summer begins at Walt Disney World Resort, where Magic Kingdom Park will stay open for 24 hours from 6 a.m., May 24 all the way through 6 a.m., May 25, 2013. Aside from New Fantasyland, which opened in December as the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, guests also will find new offerings such as an interactive "Pirates Adventure" game at Magic Kingdom, the newly re-imagined Test Track at Epcot, the new Disney Junior - Live on Stage! Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fun Spot America opens its 10-acre expansion on June 8th.
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D opens at Universal Orlando Resort on June 20th.
- Space Shuttle Atlantis opens at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on June 29th.
- World of Chima opens at LEGOLAND Florida on July 3rd.
With new attractions opening at every theme park, Orlando is truly the top choice for a summer vacation. Don't miss out, plan your Orlando summer vacation today!